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Old 11-22-2010, 04:56 PM  
Junior Member

Minneapolis, MN
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 18 | Kudos: +11
Twin cities pros and cons

Pros:
- Park system (especially in Mpls) are top notch. Go to Minnehaha Creek and Falls, Chain of Lakes, Hidden Falls, Como Park, etc.
- Many thriving little clusters of commerce: Uptown, 48th and Chicago, Nordeast, Dinkytown, Grand Ave, Lowertown.
- Smart and friendly people
- Low crime (compared to other metro areas of the same size)
- So many great breakfast places: Collasel, Our Kitchen, Hot Plate, Ikes, etc.
- Bicycle friendliness (while could always be better, is still one of the best in the US)

Cons:
- Sprawl sprawl and more sprawl. Yuck
- Neither downtown areas are much to call home about
- Weather
- Highway network too intertwined in the city
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:40 PM  
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Eden Prarie, Minnesota
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Pros:
- It's got really about anything you could want (in the greater metro area)

Cons
- Lack of effective public transportation from suburb to suburb
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:27 PM  
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Minneapolis, MN
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 12 | Kudos: +10
Pros:
It's a huge metropolitan area that offers just about anything a city like Chicago or NYC could offer all the while having the "small town" effect. Unlike other metros, it seems like the Twin Cities don't force you to get lost in the mix (although if you prefer it, you can). All the while it still has the same options in retail, food, drink (THE BEER!), music (instruments, live shows, venues, local artists), art, etc. as anywhere.

Amazing parks and lakes. Just an all around beautiful place. There's nothing better than walking around Lake Calhoun, Centennial Lakes, or cycling along the Mississippi.

Having come from the South, can I just say how much I like living somewhere not Southern? I mean, every state has its hillbillies, but the general mentality, intellect, etc around here is just amazing. The quality of living is also way better.

Cons:
The roads suck (two seasons in MN: construction and winter)
The cold (4 to 5 months of the year it's icy, you pay dearly for the summer beauty)
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:25 PM  
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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 7 | Kudos: +10
Twin Cities pros and cons

Pros: Fun place to live and work. Lots of nice parks and recreation areas. Friendly people. Being this far north and in the western part of our time zone means it is light until 9:30 in late June. Battling snow and other drivers to get to work on snowy days. The quiet of a snowfall. Excellent local beers. Excellent restaurants. No really super bad areas. Winter Carnival and lots of fun stuff to do in the winter.

Cons: Road salt eats your car. Summer heat (you can only take off so much clothing before you get arrested...). No 'towns' like in bigger cities (like Greektown or Chinatown). Aggressive urban renewal programs destroyed a lot of the local historical downtowns. Need for a car due to lack of suburb to suburb connections and sprawl. Traffic congestion.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:31 PM  
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Minneapolis, MN
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 18 | Kudos: +11
[QUOTE=tholt;43735]
Cons...Aggressive urban renewal programs destroyed a lot of the local historical downtowns. QUOTE]

Amen Brother. It's really a tragedy what's been down with downtown Mpls especially. So many fantastic building got the wrecking ball to make way for big glass cubes.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:12 PM  
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Brainerd lakes area
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6 | Kudos: +10
pro: I like that there is always something to do, and all the options for bars and places to eat.

con: It is to big and busy for a country boy like me, i like to visit, but I couldn't live there.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:26 PM  
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Minneapolis, MN
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3 | Kudos: +10
newcomer's opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles View Post
Cons:
- Sprawl sprawl and more sprawl. Yuck
I just moved here without knowing anything about it having lived all up and down the east coast and been just about everywhere (but here) before.

And in my opinion, the sprawl here is really a lot less than in other cities its size. Additionally, the traffic/public transport management is a lot better, so it really doesn't seem so bad.

I mean here, Eden Prairie is considered like the end of the earth and it's still only 30 min max away, and people there know it is kinda far.

In most major cities you can EASILY know people that live 45-60min away and think that that is TOTALLY normal.

Now of course there are people like that here too I guess out in Minnetonka or something but it sure seems to be more rare to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles View Post
- Neither downtown areas are much to call home about
Again, compared to other cities it's size, hell pretty much every city besides NYC, I find downtown Minneapolis to be pretty damn cool and lively. Yeah you can criticize that sometimes there aren't MANY people on the streets, but there ARE people, sometimes many. In most US large cities you are literally the only non-homeless person walking downtown after 5-6 pm.

Now St. Paul does seem to suck but I haven't been much.
That's how most US cities' downtowns are.

I live in downtown Minneapolis and I can actually shop for pretty much everything, go to movies, millions of bars and restaurants, concerts all in a 10 square block radius or so..
How many cities can say that?? I would say maybe NONE except select neighborhoods in NYC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles View Post
- Weather
Yeah, well clearly this is true but actually I have been surprised that they extremely low temps don't feel THAT bad because it's dry and sunny unlike the dreary humidity on the east coast that makes 30 feel like 0.
Honestly I don't think anywhere has anything like ideal weather besides maybe the west coast which is not an option for me. At least here you can easily avoid it, you can have a car, good public transport, skyways etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles View Post
- Highway network too intertwined in the city
I can kinda agree with this, I was pretty shocked (and annoyed) when I found that i literally could not drive from one side of I-394 to the other unless I actually got on the interstate somewhere and off again on the other side..

But, I think this might be a good thing too because as I've said, I find the traffic here AMAZING compared to other US cities.

They must be doing something right. It has never taken me an entire hour to go anywhere yet, and sometimes this is thanks to the highways I'm sure.

And I don't really find it too obtrusive, the highways do not actually go through downtown or uptown, the 2 real pedestrian 'city' neighborhoods. or NE.

And, this is one of the few or maybe only US City this size I have been to that does not have simply a 'beltway' system for their highway, and this also seems to be a brilliant idea. I love that there is not just 1 major highway that EVERYONE has to get on and gets backed up to hell and needs 20 lanes to function at all. There are always choices and a grid-like system similar to normal streets.

So that's my 2 cents as a newcomer who has only been here for 3 months but am really enjoying it!

as for pros, there are a lot, but my favorite is definitely:

SMART and ENGAGED people.

I come from living in the South recently so I feel like I'm in a different country up here but really enjoying that fact so much.

People here do their job well, understand what you say before you say it, are interested in conversation and ask questions.

It's just not like that in most of this country sadly!

Probably the only places I have seen this refreshing attitude otherwise is in NYC and the pacific northwest and I kind of feel sometimes that Minnesota is a hidden gem in many ways.

If there is any con.. well there is that Minnesota Nice thing.. True I have not made friends much yet. But in my opinion people do not seem any less friendly here than anywhere else in America, we are just not a very friendly country. And by this I mean, yes of course people are VERY nice, but it's rare for them to invite you to their home, or to become real intimate friends very quickly if ever, which is something that happens very easily in, say, Latin America.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:36 PM  
Junior Member

Minneapolis, MN
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3 | Kudos: +10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tholt View Post
No 'towns' like in bigger cities (like Greektown or Chinatown).
Hey, there are a lot of Greektowns and Chinatowns, but there's only 1 Somalitown that I know of!

Cedar Riverside & Lake street area (Mexican) are as good an ethnic neighborhood as most have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tholt View Post
Aggressive urban renewal programs destroyed a lot of the local historical downtowns.
I would like to know more about that.. do you have any link to an example? I was wondering if the suburbs here have downtowns or what.. what kind of program would destroy them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tholt View Post
Need for a car due to lack of suburb to suburb connections and sprawl. Traffic congestion.
Yeah, well I don't think many cities have suburb to suburb connections. Except the ones that are ridiculously sprawled maybe.. The anti-sprawl hope is that everyone lives close enough to downtown that they can make a connection there to their job to fight the sprawl.

And again I personally have not seen any city this size with as good traffic situation. Which I guess studies have backed up as was on the cover of USA Today recently as tops in the nation.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:27 PM  
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Minneapolis, MN
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 18 | Kudos: +11
ml12 - very good stuff, I like discussing these things. Lemme respond to a few:

sprawl: Yes, all big cities in the US have sprawl, and the TC Metro is about par for the course. It's not Phoenix, but its no New Urbanist's Paradise by any stretch. Perhaps I am more suited for a smaller sized city, having grown up in Madison, WI (which has really sprawled out as well unfortunately). Its not uncommon here for folks to live an hour apart from each other and call it normal. Living in downtown Minneapolis, it's not too tough for you to head out in any direction, but I have a friend in Eden Prairie who's dating somebody who lives in White Bear Lake. They're both living in what's considered the Twin Cities Metro, however what they have is essentially a long distance relationship.

Aggressive "Urban Renewal" project that destroyed the downtowns Look up the Gateway District redevelopment project of the 1950s and 60s. They tore down hundreds of historic buildings over a massive swath of city blocks in the name of progress. Many of these blocks simply sat as surface parking for decades. The saddest of which is the Metropolitan building.

http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistor...03p112-115.pdf

It was a tragic mistake, and is one of the most regrettable aspects of Minneapolis history.

I, personally, detest the skyways as well. I fully understand why they were implemented, but the side effects were highly distructive. When you couple the demolition of historic buildings (most of which had street level commerce) with the skyways and the new style glass & steal austere skyscraper...it's no wonder downtown is so often dead, storefront retail is destroyed. Compare it to the downtown of say, Portland, and it's night and day.

Highways I'm relatively anti-car. Cars beget sprawl, non-pedestrian friendly environments (the one-way streets downtown aren't helping things), pollution and a whole slew of other issues. We are a highway centric city, which I feel is a misallocation of resources. For a city our size, we should have a far better rail system in place. The only big metro areas with worse rail are Miami and Detroit (And you have to expect Detroit to not be big on anything that's not automobiles). San Diego, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Portland and Sacramento are all smaller cities than TC yet have better rail networks. It's shameful, it's nearly impossible to live in this city without a car.

The people of the Twin Cities ARE very smart and engaged...sometimes I feel that the city is undeserving of its people.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:33 PM  
Lonely HUMMER Guy
 
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I like how most Minnesotan's hate winter, cold weather and snow but they still continue to live here.............................................. ...........

And don't give me that, but we love Minnesota summers.
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